The Next Justice

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by PoliticalChic, May 10, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The following an analysis of prospective Justice Kagan.

    Remember, it is from The New Republic, but enlightening.

    " I've always been struck by her ability to ask a friendly but pointed question that identified the hardest issue in the legal dispute, to connect to the people she was questioning with an uncanny ability to see things from their intellectual perspective, and then to reframe the issue on her own terms so that the resolutions seemed clearer and more compelling.

    Obama has signaled that he wants a justice who can win Justice Anthony Kennedy to the liberal side of the Court in 5-4 votes. Given Kagan’s demonstrated success winning over skeptical conservatives at every stage of her career, she seems ideally suited for this role. On the Harvard Law Review, as a clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall, and later as dean of Harvard Law School, she was liked and admired by people of widely different political perspectives. After her stint in the Clinton White House, where she was promoted from the White House counsel’s office to the Domestic Policy office because of her unique combination of legal ability and political skills, Kagan returned to Harvard Law as a professor and then dean. Her signal achievement was bringing together liberals and conservatives on faculty that was famously divided ideologically. Focusing on merits rather than ideology, she hired noted conservatives—such as Jack Goldsmith, the dissident Bush lawyer—ended public bickering, and convinced a formerly fractious faculty to vote unanimously on significant reform of the curriculum and grading system.

    It’s encouraging that Obama has ignored attacks on Kagan by enforcers of ideological purity on the left and the right, both of which caricature her essentially centrist record. The attacks from the right focus on her support, when she was dean of Harvard Law, for the misguided and unsuccessful law suit challenging the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment, which denies federal funds to schools that barred military recruiters because of opposition to the gays in the military policy. The White House will try to rebut these attacks by offering testimony from conservative Harvard colleagues who argue convincingly that she is no Warren Court liberal.

    As for the attacks from the left, there are some who yearn for a return to Warren Court liberalism, where the courts imposed liberal policy views over the objection of the president and Congress. In addition to being politically impractical (we are unlikely to see a Supreme Court majority of Warren Court liberals in our lifetime), this strategy has also been rejected by President Obama, who recently criticized liberals for relying too much on courts to fight their battles for them in the 1960s, a strategy that he said ill prepared them for fighting conservative judicial activism today. Kagan is very much in the model embraced by Obama in his book The Audacity of Hope, where he observes that advances in our understanding of liberty and equality have always come primarily from grassroots political activism, and while courts can codify progressive values, they can’t impose them on an unwilling nation. In the great battles over progressive regulations that will occupy the court for the next decade, Kagan will be a compelling advocate for liberal judicial restraint, insisting that congress and the administrative agencies deserve deference, and criticizing conservatives who seek to use the courts to reverse their political defeats."
    The Next Justice | The New Republic
     
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Sorry mods, please combine with the YoungLefty thread
     

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